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Supply Chains Under Stress: Air India Receives Airbus A350 With Aeroflot Cabin

The Indian airline will take delivery of six Airbus A350s that were already intended for Aeroflot. Air India takes control of the cabin at the same time.

The Indian airline said it is scheduled to take delivery of six Airbus A350s by the end of this year. It’s part of the record order for 470 planes the airline announced in February. The fact that long-haul aircraft are available at this speed is a consequence of Western sanctions against Russia. The planes were actually intended for Aeroflot. But since handovers are not allowed, the slots are free.

Another consequence is that the cabin of the Air India A350 will initially also be the cabin of Aeroflot. As revealed by the airline’s president Campbell Wilson at a press conference, the airline decided to do this because global supply chains are also under significant pressure for cabin products and aircraft seats. It will take a lot of time to transform the cabin.

316 seats in three classes

There has been a shortage of plane seats for a while now. For example, Iberia had to allow some Airbus A350s to take off without any business class because the Recaro seats were too late. Instead, Iberia installed economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration where Iberia’s new Business Class suites were intended to be.

Aeroflot Airbus A350 aircraft are equipped with 316 seats in three classes: there are 28 Business Class suites, 24 Premium Economy and 264 Economy Class seats. Business Class seats are installed in a 1-2-1 configuration and can be locked with a door. There is also a small bar for privileged guests. Premium Economy is installed in a 2-4-2 configuration, Economy in a 3-4-3.

This is how Air India Order is divided

Turkish Airlines has already secured six A350s from Aeroflot’s initial order. The Turkish airline also kept the cabin.

Air India has ordered 34 Airbus A350s in total, but the remaining aircraft after Aeroflot will be the longer Airbus A350-1000s. In addition, I also ordered 140 A320 Neo and 70 A321 Neo. The airline has ordered 220 Boeing aircraft: 20 Boeing 787-9s, ten Boeing 777-9s, and 190 Boeing 737 MAXs, including MAX 8 and MAX 10. There are also options for another 50 Boeing 737 MAX and 20 Boeing 787-9 aircraft.